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BE OKs Bartel project

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 21, 2021

Residents of Blue Earth affected by the City Council’s change in plans for the Bartel Drive project were invited to attend the council meeting on Monday, March 15, to learn more about why the changes were made and how it would affect their assessments. They were also given the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have about the project.

City engineer Wes Brown led the review of the project which originally looked at putting in a sanitary sewer line through a side yard area in the neighborhood and just doing a mill and overlay on the Bartel Drive street surface.

“The work being done on Bartel Drive is part of a larger project involving other streets,” Brown noted. “After televising the sewer lines we learned there were six-inch lines instead of eight-inch lines. Also, the sewer line is located underneath some of the houses which can create a problem should there be a plug in the system.”

Brown continued to explain other factors which were involved in the decision.

“We were originally proposing to do a mill and overlay on Bartel Drive which would cost $14.73 per lineal foot,” Brown said. “The street is not in good shape and it would have been a short-term fix. Total street reconstruction increases the cost to $82.30 per lineal foot. However, doing a total reconstruction, with the sanitary sewer line located under the street, should provide 30 years of service compared to 10 years of service you would get with a partial reconstruction.”

The updated total assessed amount was listed as $102,445.22.

“The rates are the same as for the other street projects,” Brown explained.

Mayor Rick Scholtes then asked those in attendance for comments and questions.

One of the first concerns raised involved the question of parking accommodations during the construction process.

“The construction company does their best to keep access available to the residents,” Brown said.

Someone asked about the possibility of using the parking lot of the former Griffin Medical Clinic located at the south end of Main Street.

“We will have to look into that option,” Scholtes answered.

Those in attendance also wanted to know their options for paying their assessments and if they could be paid off over time.

“We will have to bond for this project so you would be able to pay over the 15-year life of the bond,” Scholtes explained. “I cannot tell you the exact interest rate but it should be in the neighborhood of four percent.”

Brown also explained the gas line would be replaced by CenterPoint Energy and the street width and location would remain the same as it currently is.

“The storm sewer is not assessed and there is no sidewalk involved,” Brown commented.

The council voted to continue the Bartel Drive project with the full re- construction option.